Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rage Against the Dying Light by Jan Surasky (Spotlight, Guest Post)

Of all the woman warriors in myth and legend, few are more storied than Boudicca, the fierce redheaded queen who, in the first century A.C.E., led the most celebrated Celtic rebellion in history. Until now, books about her have been based on the only written records that exist—ancient Roman writings. But here, for the first time, Jan Surasky imagines Boudicca’s enthralling story of bravery and triumph from the Celtic perspective. In her extensively researched, vividly told novel, Boudicca bursts to life as never before in all her bold passion, brazen courage and heroic glory.

At first a carefree young princess who revels in friendships and the beauty of her land, Boudicca learns the ways and rites of her Druid tribe. She prepares for the day she will be queen, wife, and mother. Soon after her politically matched marriage to a much older king, however, her world turns dark. Roman invaders, intent on conquering the loosely allied Celts, break a pact that would have saved Boudicca s tribe from doom. Throughout the land, the legions wreak brutal havoc, taking slaves, publicly humiliating Boudicca and assaulting her two young daughters. Betrayed and outraged, Boudicca will not back down. She leads thousands of warriors into an epic battle to avenge her daughters and rid her beloved island of Roman tyranny.

Grand in scope and intimate in detail, Rage Against the Dying Light resonates with the queen s indomitable spirit. Thanks to Jan SuraskyÂ’s beautifully written novel, Boudicca takes her place alongside no lesser woman warrior than Joan of Arc herself.

Reviews of Rage Against the Dying Light

This is a paean to one woman's resistance and the glory of bygone days. At its best, the book achieves a poetic flow of bucolic imagery that suggests some of the spirit that the invading Romans quashed. Though it does contain violent scenes of rape and war, Rage Against the Dying Light's idealized tone makes the book appropriate for young adults, teens, and adults who like their history vivid and tangible. --Foreword Clarion Review

The book is written with a poetic flair, and reads smooth and warm despite the horrors inflicted upon the Celts by the Romans that the reader learns about. The author shows the reader a side of Boudicca that many books do not cover. We see her not just as a hero and a warrior, but also a friend, and a mother. She portrays the last stand against the encroaching might of Rome and the symbol of courage that has been hers alone in history books. --The US Review of Books

Jan Surasky's novel of Celtic uprising against the Romans delves into a time with little to no historical record. The only written records of Boudicca's uprising come from Roman writings, with no accounts from the Celtic perspective. These gaps in history allow her great latitude in crafting her story, and she rises to the challenge, mixing extensive research with broad creative leaps. She captures well the feelings of the Celts as they rebel against the Romans, the songs of the bards and poets, and the legacy of a queen who had the mantle of liberator thrust upon her. --Eric Hoffer Award Winners issue, The US Review of Books

Boudicca's doomed but heroic struggle is the subject of Jan Surasky's gripping historical novel, "Rage Against The Dying Light". A thoroughly engaging and deftly written novel from first page to last, "Rage Against The Dying Light" is solidly entertaining and will prove a popular addition to personal reading lists and community library collections. --The Midwest Book Review --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jan Surasky has worked as a book reviewer, movie reviewer, and entertainment writer for a San Francisco daily newspaper. Her many articles and short stories have been published in national, regional and local magazines and newspapers. She has also taught writing at a literary center and a number of area colleges near her home in upstate New York. She is a graduate of Cornell University and has studied English literature in the graduate department of the University of Rochester.

Her novel Rage Against the Dying Light was published in 2010. Her forthcoming novel is Back To Jerusalem.

Connect with Jan here: 

The Library
By Jan Surasky

     We did not have a library in the grade school I attended so our first grade class was obliged to visit the neighborhood branch of our city library system to learn about books. I will never forget that encounter. The children’s librarian gathered us around her and held up a book. Books are your friends, she told us. That hooked me. Friends are good, I thought. She then proceeded to tell us how we should care for them. Wash your hands. Don’t bend the pages. Etc. I was in awe.

     From that day on I was a regular visitor to that neighborhood library. And, that librarian never changed. She was just as nice as the first day I had met her. She did try to push me to borrow the latest books that had just arrived, but I was just as adamant. I wanted to browse the shelves myself and look at all the books. And, she always let me with a smile.

     I spent many hours through those grade school years browsing those shelves and finding some little known books whose stories have remained with me my whole life. I spent many hours transported to the worlds of those books drowning out my childhood problems. Who couldn’t imagine themselves the beautiful princess or cheer for the brave prince who conquered the villain?

     It’s not that I was a stereotypical bookworm. It’s just that I loved books. I loved baseball and making snowmen and playing angels in the snow. But, books were a big part of my life.

      I have wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember and I have been lucky to have had it work out that way. But, it hasn’t always been easy as any writer knows.

     Rage Against the Dying Light is my fairy tale, even though it is based on a true story. For everyone knows that fairy tales are not just fantasy. They are the inspiration that feeds our own courage and makes our dreams come true.

Purchase Rage Against the Dying Light by clicking the book icon below. Available in book or e-book format.

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